In my opinion as a civilian, you should be able to do the following:
-defend yourself, others
-heal/care for yourself/others
-perform basic daily functions (work related, errands, travel, etc)
-survive the day, period
EDC gear and training should allow you to perform those tasks more effectively, without limiting your normal activities or routines.
A defense is the one everyone likes to focus on, because guns are fuckin sweet. Often times though, that mindset completely disregards the other necessary activities. In reality, a gunfight is the least likely outcome of your day, even in a war zone, so while defense is important, it should not be your sole purpose. Think of EDC mindset as a “whole person” mentality.
A quality firearm, and corresponding accessories, along with professional training make a competent defense very possible. Furthermore, familiarity with your chosen firearm is very important. Try not to change guns like you change socks, as this could potentially cause a mental hang up should things go bad.
Healing should be one of the most important focuses when it comes to our training portfolio. In the land of cheeseburgers and big gulps, you are far more likely to encounter a coworker or fellow human in need of medical assistance than you are to encounter an enemy machine gun nest. Basic Red Cross training is adequate, as well as affordable. Basic medical supplies kept near us on a daily basis should be based around most likely scenarios, given our environment, as well as our specific levels of training. Much like a gun, don’t carry a chest decompression Kit if you don’t know how to use it, (or at all, really).
More likely to happen than either of the above two situations, is that your day will go perfectly normally with no sign of a crisis or emergency. In this case, we need to carry things that help us do our given work. A sharp knife, a flashlight, and a pen/pencil and notebook will help the average person stay prepared throughout the day. If you are a specialist in some field or another, your gear will likely include tools of your trade, that serve no other purpose. Job specific training rarely has much crossover with the other categories, but if on the off chance it does, pay close attention and stay proficient. This could include basic medical training, specialized safety information, etc…
Surviving the day is just that. Getting home at the end of your shift safely and seeing the proverbial wife and kids, or dog/hamster. Survival is a combination of all of the above topics, as well as general information that we should be constantly gleaning. Fire building, shelter construction, field dressing game, etc… Much of this information will cross over, and when you need it, you really really need it. Gear for this category is typically not carried on the body, but more often kept in a vehicle or bag of some sort. Tarps, lighters, water purification, etc… This is the worst case scenario knowledge that preppers have wet dreams about using. As prepared men, (and women), we should at least maintain a modicum of this knowledge in case the theoretical balloon ever does go up while you are in the McDonald’s drive through line. Much if this knowledge is passed down from previous generations,, but for those of us who weren’t so lucky, YouTube and various books often are chocked full of it.
For scaling, we should always keep in mind that if there is a situation we can’t handle, we should probably avoid being in that situation. Don’t walk down the sketchy alley, don’t pick up the hitchhiker, etc… Risk mitigation allows us to put a cap on how high we must e able to scale our defensive/offensive loadouts. By all means have to ability to gear up and fight a cartel, but try not to do that if you can avoid it.
For scaling down, we must be cognizant of local laws and regulations, as well as work policies, and establish personal limits as to how willing we are to violate them. Social norms are easily broken, such as carrying a slightly smaller gun to church to mitigate and eliminate being “made”. However, if your workplace has a no guns/knives policy, you need to weigh out te pros and cons of carrying in that kind of an NPE. Is the job worth losing if you get caught? Will there be legal ramifications?
In summary, consider what training you have, what equipment you need, and what holes you need to fill In either of those categories and go from there. Be as self sufficient as possible, and carry things that allow you to function efficiently and safely throughout your day. Work within your left and right limits, which are set not only by your environment, but your level of training.